ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: St. James’ Park (Newcastle)
You can potentially forgive Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United for falling 4-1 in their last game against a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United, but there wasn’t a lack of effort amongst the Newcastle players. However, effort alone sometimes isn’t rewarded with wins and as such, the potential relegation candidates are still without a victory so far, conceding more Premier League (PL) goals than anyone else (12) in the process.
Fixing that leaky defence then should be Newcastle’s priority given that they’ve managed to at least get on the scoresheet in three of their four PL games so far. Not often having any issues in taking a lead, the capitulating ‘Magpies’ have conceded eight equalising goals across their last seven PL home games, conceding 2+ goals in six games during that run as well.
There has been talk in some quarters of Leeds United suffering from second season syndrome after failing to record a PL win after the four games (D2, L2); a phenomenon which is perfectly exemplified by Sheffield United’s second-season relegation last term. Damningly, this is Leeds’ worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1958/59!
The shocking start by Leeds is also cult-hero manager Marcelo Bielsa’s joint-worst run of league defeats since failing to win the final four regular season games of 2018/19, before notching a 1-0 success at Derby in the play-off semi-final first leg.
Players to watch: Newcastle’s tricky Allan Saint-Maximin has had a hand in three of their five PL goals so far (1G, 2A). As for Leeds, Patrick Bamford says he will be working ‘double hard’ to stay in the England setup after earning his first cap through his scoring exploits at club level. He scored their sole goal in the last away game.
- Newcastle’s form in last 5 matches: LDDLL.
- Leeds’s form in last 5 matches: LDWDL